The whistling sound of players gliding across the ice. The stiff “crack!” of a puck launching into the air. The roar of the crowd when that puck finds a piece of open net. There is nothing more exciting than your first hockey game, and if you’re about to spend your first afternoon at the rink, you’re in for a treat. Here are a few things you need to know to make sure you get the most out of your first game.

1. Dress Warm

Baby, it’s cold out there. Hockey players zip around on a giant block of ice with a stadium wrapped around it. Even though you will still be indoors, expect it to be chilly, especially if you are sitting closer to the ice. Most fans will want to wear a sweater or a light jacket, even if they are sitting in a crowded section. Here’s a tip: Thick winter socks make all the difference. No one wants to sit through three full periods with cold feet.

2. Stick Around After the Game Ends

In many sports, the Most Valuable Player is recognized at the end of the game. In hockey, the game’s Three Stars are recognized. These three players are the standouts of the game, with the best being recognized as the First Star. Typically the highest scorers are recognized as the Three Stars, but sometimes it could be a spectacular goaltender or a player who otherwise excels. If you stick around to the end, you’ll get to see these stars up close.

3. Bring a Hat (To Throw on the Ice)

A “hat trick” is when a hockey player scores three goals in the same game. Where the term actually came from is open to debate, but has been around since the 1940s. When a player does make those three goals, fans respond by throwing their hats on the ice to recognize the achievement. Just remember: If you throw your hat on the ice, you’re likely not going to get it back.

You may have been to a football game or a baseball game before, but in hockey, as you can see, things are done a little differently. Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be ready to go out and cheer for your team like a die-hard fan. Just remember to sit with fans wearing the same color jersey!

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